Please see below for short bios from board members seeking election or re-election. These bios are crafted from applicants’ responses to the question, “How do you feel AERO would benefit from your involvement on the board?” Additional board applications will be accepted until the Annual Meeting and from the floor during the Membership Meeting. If you would like additional information on any of these applicants, feel free to contact Annie Heuscher, board chair, at [email protected], or other board members or staff.
Current Board Members Seeking Re-Election:
Ephie Risho: I have a passion for sustainable agriculture and emerging renewable energy, as well as the environment. With a wide range of business and non-profit experience, on staff with various non-profits over the years, and currently a business owner, I have a wide range of knowledge that could be of help. As a communications professional, I can contribute significantly. As a media person in regards to food, water and energy, I have influence and ideas.
Jim Mahnke: I used to be unique on the Board by being gender challenged. Now no longer. But I am distinguished by age. Born in 1933 just three months after the inauguration of President Roosevelt, I saw him on the back of his campaign tree in the fall of 1940. I can remember the Depression, Pearl Harbor, WW2. And I was a History Major. Despite these immense roots in the past, Circumstances direct my attention to 7 generations in the future: Two daughters and four grandchildren, whose futures are at risk because of the great success of Big Money in our economy and politics. Organized Money has won the day over Disorganized People for the last 40 years. Corporate Personhood and endless money as free speech need stopping.
I think that expanding our mission, honing our message, and linking up with many other non-profits in a common cause would brighten the future for the little people.
Kim Gilchrist: I have been on the board for the past two years and served as treasurer this past year. I look forward to continuing work with staff, the board, and our bookkeeper on our financial processes. I have also been building skills in marketing and communications throughout my graduate education which I look forward to applying to AERO.
New Applicants Seeking Election:
Laura Ginsburg: I will bring to AERO my dedication to Montana agriculture, rural communities, and ensuring that agriculture remains a sustainable way of life in our state. My educational experience at the University of Montana and work experience with CFAC and Lake County Community Development have allowed me to develop relationships with people across western Montana and beyond in developing sensible agricultural policy. I have positive experience with grant writing, conference planning, and education, and look forward to sharing those skills with AERO.
Trina Filan: I am a human-environment geographer with an interest in food systems and sovereignty, environmental justice, alternative energy, accessible sustainability technologies and practices, proactivity and pragmatism. I also am a feminist geographer with a background in gender-and-agriculture issues, water policy and water justice, and the way politics and economics influence resource use and access by different actors. Geography provides a unique way of viewing the world. It is holistic; all aspects of an issue are considered important, and issues take on unique attributes in different places and at different scales. To this viewpoint, I bring the practical and pragmatic experiences of work in business, with several community organizations, and with state government, as well as a variety of skills that will be useful to AERO as it moves forward into its next 40 years.
Jeff Pernell: I really believe in the necessity of sustainable communities as we progress as a global society. I enjoy spreading the word about what communities can do to reduce their dependence on larger systems and how to implement changes that improve local economies. Food and Energy are my passions and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to help educate the local populations about how to produce both effectively and efficiently.
Michael Pipp: I can offer my experience and knowledge of program and personnel management to the organization.
Paul Reichert: I would like to help and assist AERO with growing and strengthening its fundraising and name recognition to new audiences. There is an opportunity for AERO to capture growing interest in sustainability, and being “the” go-to organization for sustainable programs statewide in energy, agriculture, and community design.